Facing euthanizing my gelding
Well vet comes on Thursday, depending on what the x rays say I will be putting down my older retired gelding. A little back story: my TB gelding has been having soundness issues for a little under two years. It first started in his hocks, we injected them, then his stifles started acting up, so we injected his stifles.
Then he was fine for a little while. Then he started having lameness problems on the front, left front to be exact, but every time the vet would come he would flex fine. It was on and off lameness and he of course had to always be sound when the vet came. So the vet never wanted to do x rays. I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy. And even when he was sound, he still seemed off. So I gave up on the vet, (I don't have a trailer and the only other good vet in the area doesn't do lameness evaluations on farm calls).
He's always been shod on the front, so we added pads. Then he was the best he'd ever been since the lameness has started, he was pasture sound. That's when I decided to retire him (though he had only been ridden about two times in the two years so he was pretty much already retired). And decided that as long as he was pasture sound I would continue to provide him the support he needed and I would keep him.
This horse had taught me to jump and we'd won a wall full of ribbons, so he deserved to be retired and taken care of. Well recently he's been lame again, my farrier was shoeing him yesterday and I mentioned how he was lame again. And he said he'd bet money it's ringbone, especially with the way the pads helped him. The vet is coming this Thursday, and I'm having him do x rays, I've decided that if he does have ringbone I am going to put him down. He already has arthritis in other places and even with bute he's not sound anymore, he gets better but not what I would consider sound (when he started going lame again I buted him).
Depending on where the ringbone is the joint can fuse, but that takes a few years and is very painful. He is only 18 (so I'm told), all I know is he came from a racing stable in California and since he didn't race or show promise he was never tattooed. Then he went to the slaughter house where a lady picked him up, then he's bounced around (and somehow made it to TX), so needless to say any papers, or anything at all is long gone. The dentist says he looks more earlier to mid twenties, so he could be older. I'm already dreading it, but I know it' the right thing to do, I can't take seeing him limp around the pasture, it's not fair to him.
Sorry for the long post, but needless to say I'm dreading Thursday, and already tearing up at the fact that sometime soon I may be driving home with his halter and no him. He was my first horse and I bought him myself in high school, he got me through some rough family times (abusive father) and made me the rider I am today.
My heart is breaking for you as I know all too well that feeling of loosing a beloved horse (friend) of many years. There are no words of comfort that I can offer that will bring you peace. I hope that just knowing that your decisions are made from your heart and that you are doing the best you can for him brings you peace. It is the hardest and most selfless acts that we can do for those we love. Saying goodbye and being there for them until the end. Ending ones suffering though very painful, it is sometimes the most loving thing we can do. I hope that Thursdays results are better then you hoped but if now, I pray that you can find peace in your decision and smiles in your many shared memories.
I'm so sorry Sully :( what a terrible thing to have to go through with your guy. You'll do the right thing by him though, I know it. Hugs and prayers for you.
Have you used/do you use the Waller County vet by any chance? If you happen to need another opinion or anything, you might give them a ring. They're the ones that helped me with Kenzie and they're great people, who specialize in lameness detection and treatment. Of course you don't want to prolong his suffering if he does having ringbone, but if he doesn't, maybe they can help you out. I've heard a lot of success stories from people who have used them, and maybe they can help keep him pasture sound for a bit longer.
Those are always the hardest decisions, and they are always very personal :( I feel for you.
I would agree though on getting a second opinion / proper diagnosis before taking such a final step. Also don't know if neurectomy is an option for you, but if the aim is to just keep him comfortable in the pasture it might be worth a thought...
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I spent extra time with him tonight at the barn, he was as sweet as can be as usual, but just not the same. It's obviously bugging him very much :(, I just started bawling like a baby.
I'm so sorry you're both having to go through this! ((HUGS))
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I am so sorry for what you and your horse are going through. It is so difficult. Have you ever talked to a holistic vet? You can have great success with acupuncture and herbal support. I have many older horses at my barn and I can't imagine what I would do without my holistic vet. I love my conventional vet too but it takes a team to keep a horse healthy. I find conventional therapies are often more suppressive where holistic therapies work to stimulate the horse's body to try to help heal itself. I encourage you to look into it...it is particularly helpful with this type of problem. You can alleviate the pain without bute in most cases. Best of luck.
I am sorry what you are going through
i hope every thing works for you
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